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MONTHLY

REVIEW

o f Financial and Business Conditions

mi _

F if t h
Federal

i

*! Kichmond a

ff

__

va

.

reserve

..... D i s t r i c t

Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond, Va.

July 31, 1940

Summary of June Business Conditions
ing through the banks o f the district, were 5 per cent
larger in June 1940 than in June 1939.
Fifth district industries operated in June and the first
half o f July at least up to seasonal levels, and recent
orders assure a continuation o f operations at or above
present levels. Increased activity in coal consuming in­
dustries this summer and larger than normal exports o f
coal enable W est Virginia mines to hold output substan­
tially above normal for this season. Shipyards in the
N orfolk and Baltimore areas are working at capacity on
sufficient orders to keep them busy for several years, and
aircraft plants have all the business they can handle with
present facilities. Smaller industries are also receiving
orders for work in connection with the preparedness pro­
gram, such as orders recently received by one firm for
target shells for the Navy and by another firm for 500
steel railroad cars. Textile plants expect to secure orders
for cloth and yarn to be used by the A rm y or by indus­
trial establishments working on Government orders.
In agriculture, not much change in crop yields is in
prospect this year in comparison with 1939 except in
tobacco, in which an acreage reduction o f nearly 40 per
cent has been made, in agreement with Government con­
trol programs. This reduction may result in lower con­
sumer purchasing power in tobacco growing areas next
fall, although a considerable part o f the prospective de­
crease in tobacco receipts will be made up by Government
payments.

R A D E and industry in the Fifth Federal Reserve
district normally decline during the summer months,
and this year is no exception, but in most instances
the decreases have been less than was to be expected.
Either direct or indirect influences of European condi­
tions and of the preparedness program at home have
probably held several indicators at higher than seasonal
levels.
Employment appears to be better than at any time in
many months, and there is an active demand for skilled
mechanics and building tradesmen for work in shipyards,
aircraft plants, and several other types o f construction.
Coal miners are more nearly employed full time than is
usual at midsummer, textile operations continue at a
high rate, and tobacco factories are running fully up to
June and July average. Unskilled workers, while less in
demand than trained men, are moderately employed in
construction and road work.
Distribution of goods to consumers continues above the
corresponding period last year. Department store sales
in the Fifth district in June averaged 7 per cent above
sales in June 1939, and sales in retail furniture stores
totaled 8 per cent more than sales last year. Wholesale
firms in several lines sold 4 per cent more than in June
last year. Registrations of new passenger automobiles
were substantially above registrations in June 1939, and
sales o f used cars were also reported quite satisfactory.
Debits to individual accounts, reflecting transactions pass­

T

BUSINESS STATISTICS— FIFTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT

% Change
Month
Year

June 1940

May 1940

June 1939

Debits to individual accounts (25 cities)...
Sales, 31 department stores, 5th district....
Sales, 36 furniture stores, 5th district....
Sales, 211 wholesale firms, 5th district.......
Registrations, new autos, 5th district.........

$1,367,716,000
9,770,327
$
1,054,893
$
$ 11,439,000
24,135

c
61,362,938,000
<
.
10,474,004
c
1,137,135
(
12,347,000
23,623

$1,300,495,000
9,167,490
$
975,081
$
$ 11,052,000
18,177

-i—
—
—
+

0
7
7
7
2

-j- 5
+ 7
+ 8
_j_ 4
+ 33

Number of business failures, 5th district.
Liabilities in failures, 5th district...............
Value of building permits, 31 cities............
Value of contracts awarded, 5th district—
Cotton consumption, 5th district (Bales)....

$
$
$

36
714,000
11,843,892
46,154,000
274,367

—
+
—
—
—

8
33
15
26
14

+ 31
+ 12
— 9
- 37
— 1

+
+
—
+
—

5
2
3
6
8

+ 14

Cotton price, ^ per lb., end of month...........
Print cloths, 39 in., 80x80s, end of month....
Rayon shipments, U. S. (Pounds)................
Rayon Stocks, U. S. (Pounds)...................... .
Bituminous coal mined, U. S. (T o n s).........




47
801,000
10,719,466
29,161,000
271,127
10.64
6.50
31,100,000
13,200,000
32,640,000

$
$
$

51
604,000
12,665,284
39,339,000
313,962
10.11
6.38
31,900,000
12,500,000
35,468,000

$
$
$

9.33
33,000,000
33,300,000
27,959,000

— *6
— 60
+ 17

MONTHLY REVIEW

2

E M P L O Y M E N T HOLDS UP

BANKING STATISTICS
RESERVE BAN K STATEMENT ITEMS
Fifth District
000
omitted
ITEMS
July 15
June 15
1940
1940
Discounts held ..............................................
Foreign loans on gold ................................
Open market paper ........................................
Industrial advances ....................................
Government securities ..............................
Total earning assets ................................
Circulation of Fed. Res. Notes .............
Members’ reserve deposits .......................
Cash reserves ................................................
Reserve ratio ................................................

July 15
1939

$

158
$
110
$
525
0
0
87
0
0
24
871
896
1,153
122,624______126,217______140,527
123,653
127,223
142,316
230,463
224,457
196,706
319,933
298,881
243,945
481,759
432,154
364,133
80.13
77.62
72.16

SELECTED ITEMS— 41 REPORTING MEMBER BANKS
Fifth District
000 omitted
ITEMS
July 10
June 12
1940
1940
Loans and discounts ..................................
Investments in securities .........................
Reserve bal. with F. R. B a n k .................
Cash in vaults ..............................................
Demand deposits ..........................................
Time deposits ................................................
Money borrowed ..........................................

$271,117
407,515
218,375
23,103
574,902
202,182
0

July 12
1939
$241,625
427,173
156,071
21,631
488,948
200,133

$270,648
429,072
200,885
23,241
569,955
201,662
0

0

M UTUAL SAVINGS BANK DEPOSITS
10 Baltimore Banks
June 30
1940

May 31
1940

June 30
1939

$223,515,446

Total deposits

$223,616,485

$220,303,545

DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
Fifth District
CITIES
Dist. of Col.
Washington

000 omitted
June
May
1939
1940

June
1940
$ 297,719

$ 292,486

$ 294,531

389,042
9,253
9,802

390,437
8,625
8,946

Charlotte .............
Durham .................
Greensboro ...........
Raleigh .................
Wilmington ........
Winston-Salem ..

12,901
64,637
31,607
21,113
47,932
11,419
42,824

South Carolina
Charleston ...........
Columbia .............
Greenville .............
Spartanburg
Virginia
Danville ...............
Lynchburg ...........
Newport News . .
Norfolk .................
Portsmouth .........
Richmond .............
Roanoke ...............

Maryland
Baltimore .............
Cumberland ........
Hagerstown .........
North Carolina

% of Change
Month Year
+

1

368,367
8,837
9,223

— 0
+ 7
+ 10

+
+
+

6
5
6

12,711
63,876
29,277
20,847
39,966
11,231
40,563

12,106
60,558
32,033
19,612
40,438
11,386
39,689

-1 1
+ 1
+ 8
+ 1
+ 20
4- 2
+ 6

. _
+ 7
+ v
— 1
+ 8
+ 19
+ o
+ 8

21,642
27,673
17,946
10,386

20,972
34,175
20,381
11,444

17,987
25,322
17,718
9,238

+ 3
— 19
— 12
— 9

+ 20
+ 9
+ 1
+12

8,289
14,598
12,338
53,127
4,815
149,636
28,608

8,044
14,438
12,204
52,924
4,665
154,112
28,933

West Virginia
46,403
52,062
51,572
Charleston ..........
15,761
17,696
18,136
Huntington ........
9,756
10,479
10,701
Parkersburg ........
$1,300,495
$1,361,494
$1,367,716
District Totals . .
_|_0 or _ o indicates change of less than % of 1% .

+

+
+
+
+
+
—
—

3
1
1
o
3
3
1

—
+
+
+

1
2
2
o

.

.

+ 10
+ 6
+ 26
+ 5
+ 3
+ 1
+ 7
+ 11
+ 15
+ 10
+

5

C O M M E R C IA L FAILU RES
PERIODS

Number of Failures
District U. S.

Source:

Dun & Bradstreet.




STATES
Maryland ...............
Dist. of Columbia
Virginia .................
West Virginia . ..
North Carolina . ..
South Carolina . ..

Registration figures for new passenger automobiles in
the Fifth district in June showed an increase over May
figures, due to substantial gains in Virginia and W est
Virginia, and exceeded June 1939 registrations by 33 per
cent. However, the increase over June last year does not
present a true picture, since June 1939 figures for W est
Virginia were incomplete.
All states reported higher
registrations last month than for June last year. Total
registrations in the first half o f 1940 exceeded listings in
the first half o f 1939 by 26 per cent, and except for 1937
were higher than registrations in the first half o f any year
since 1929. Trade reports indicate that manufacture of
automobiles continued to decline seasonally in June, and
consequently continued large retail sales reduced stocks
of cars in dealers’ showrooms from recent high levels.
The following registration figures for new passenger
cars were furnished by R. L. Polk & Co., o f D etroit:
REGISTRATION OF N E W PASSENGER CARS— NUMBER
STATES
Maryland ...........
Dist. of Col. . . .
West Virginia . .
No. Carolina . . .
So. Carolina . ..
District ...........
* W. Va. figure

June
June
%
1940
1939
Change
+ 42
5,015
3,523
2,996
2,520
+ 19
4,321
+ 27
5,507
4,391
1,968*
+ 123
3,907
3,591
+
9
2,319
2,2.54
3
24,135
18,177
+ 33
for June 1939 incomplete.

6 Months 6 Months
1940
1939
26,844
20,646
15,104
14,075
28,605
22,056
17,310
10,546
26,656
22,419
15,195
12,911
129,714
102,653

%
Change
+ 30
+ 7
+ 30
+ 64
+ 19
+ 18
+ 26

CO N STRU CTION CONTINUES A C T IV E

Total Liabilities
District
U. S.

47
51
36
6 Months, 1940 .....................
6 Months, 1939 .....................

Percentage change from
May 1940 to June 1940
In amount
In number
of payroll
on payroll
+ 2.4
+ 1-2
4- 1.5
+ 0.5
+ 2.9
+ 3.1
+ 0.3
+ 1.0
— 1.1
-■ 1.3
- 3.7
— 1.7

A U TO M O B ILE SALES C O N TIN U E LA R G E

2

7,525
13,823 .
9,794
50,629
4,671
148,304
26,784

The number o f industrial workers in the Fifth district
changed little during the second half o f June and the
first half o f July, increases and decreases about offsetting
each other. In coal fields and in the cotton textile industry
work declined moderately in June from the May level, but
labor experienced reductions in payrolls rather than in
the number o f employees. On the other hand, the demand
continues for skilled craftsmen in shipyards, aircraft fac­
tories, and construction work, but 'practically all available
men in these trades are employed and there is some diffi­
culty in securing trained men. Miscellaneous industries
are busier than for several years, and employment in
them is consequently up. There appears to be very little un­
employment among able bodied men with any sort o f
mechanical training, although there is insufficient work
to absorb all unskilled laborers and white collar workers.
The following figures, compiled for the most part by the
Bureau o f Labor Statistics, reflect the trends o f employ­
ment and payrolls in the Fifth district from May to June:

1,114
1,238
1,119

$ 801,000
604,000
714,000

$ 13,734,000
13,068,000
12,581,000

294
331

7,119
7,875

$3,416,000
3,665,000

$ 83,481,000
100,431,000

Construction provided for in building permits issued
and contracts awarded in June in the Fifth district was
in large volume, although both permit and contract valu­
ations were lower than in June 1939. Llowever, June
1939 figures were unusually high and it was to be ex­
pected that June 1940 figures would be lower.

MONTHLY REVIEW
Permits issued in 31 cities last month totaled $10,719,466, a decrease o f 15 per cent from $12,665,284 in May
1940 and 9 per cent less than $11,843,892 in June 1939.
Total valuation for permits issued in 6 months this year
was $57,600,095, a decrease o f 6 percent from a valuation
o f $61,336,958 in the first 6 months o f 1939. The leading
cities in June permits were Baltimore with $3,641,238,
Washington $3,043,270, Richmond $600,592, Charleston,
W . Va., ,$597,298, and N orfolk $406,810.
Contract
awards for the first half o f 1940 totaling $183,288,000
were 10 per cent below $203,393,000 in the first half of
1939, but exceeded any other half-yearly figures since
1930. Figures collected by the F. W . Dodge Corporation
by states for June 1940 and 1939 on contracts actually
awarded in the Fifth Reserve district are as follo w s:
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AW ARDED
STATES

June 1940

Maryland ..........................................
Dist. of Col........................................
Virginia ............................................
West Virginia ...............................
North Carolina.................................
South Carolina .............................
Fifth District .............................

June 1939

$ 9,606,000
3,304,000
6,419,000
3,751,000
4,172,000
1,909,000
$29,161,000

$ 9,556,000
18,858,000
6,632,000
2,994,000
6,303,000
1,811,000
$46,154,000

% Change
+
—
—
+
—
+
—

1
82
3
25
3'4
5
37

C O A L PRO D U CTIO N H IGH

Production of bituminous coal in the United States in
June declined less than seasonally from May output, and
was 17 per cent above June 1939 tonnage. Coal mined
last month totaled 32,640,000 net tons, against 35,468,000
tons in M ay this year and 27,959,000 tons in June last
year. Increased consumption by industry, and large ex­
ports to Canada chiefly account for the unusual production
figures for the past several months. Total output o f
United States mines this year to July 6 reached 227,696,000 tons, 36 per cent above production o f 167,181,000
tons to the same date in 1939. Lake loadings rose from
9,540,689 tons before July 6, 1939, to 20,485,255 tons
before July 6, 1940, much of the increased tonnage going
to Canada. Shipments of coal through Hampton Roads
to July 6 amounted to 12,267,980 tons this year and
9,268,879 tons last year. In the Fifth district, bituminous
coal mined in June 1940, May 1940, and June 1939, was as
fo llow s:
SOFT COAL PRODUCTION IN TONS
REGIONS
West Virginia .......................
Virginia ....................................
Maryland .................................
5th District .........................
United States .....................
% in District ...................

June 1940
May 1940
June 1939
10,241,000
10,988,000
9,301,000
1,260,000
1,278,000
1,148,000
99,000__________104,000__________110,000
11,600,000
12,370,000
10,559,000
32,640,000
35,468,000
27,959,000
35.5
34.9
37.8

TE X T IL E M ILLS REDUCE OPERATIO NS

Cotton textile mills apparently reduced operating time
in June, and less cotton was consumed in the district than
in either May 1940 or June 1939. Production of textiles
exceeded sales during most of June and the first half
o f July, but not sufficiently to build up burdensome stocks.
Prices held up well during the past month, and actual
or prospective sales of cloth and yarn for use in defense
and W P A projects helped to increase mill sales and to
strengthen prices. Yarn prices firmed especially in the
first week in July as manufacturers made purchases against
army orders and industrial users covered future require­
ments. Mill margins narrowed in June, averaging 10.7
cents against 11.4 cents in May and 9.8 cents in June




3

1939. Consumption o f cotton by states in the Fifth dis­
trict in June 1940, M ay 1940, and June 1939, in bales, is
shown below :
COTTON CONSUMPTION— FIFTH DISTRICT
In bales
Virginia

District

June 1940 ...........................
May 1940 ..............................
June 1939 .............................

MONTHS

No. Carolina So. Carolina
144,439
165,046
147,640

116,248
135,288
117,442

10,440
13,628
9,285

271,127
313,962
274,367

6 Months, 1940 ...................
6 Months, 1939 ...................

1,004,594
923,000

783,353
705,040

78,464
67,549

1,866,411
1,695,589

SE ASON AL D ECLIN E IN R A Y O N PRO D U CTIO N

Shipments o f rayon filament yarn to domestic con­
sumers in June totaled 31,100,000 pounds, compared with
31.900.000 pounds in May and 33,000,000 pounds in June
last year. Cumulative shipments for the first half o f this
year amounting to 184,000,000 pounds rose 13 per cent
above 162,700,000 pounds shipped in the corresponding
period in 1939, and set a new record for shipments in any
January-June period. In spite o f large shipments, how­
ever, production has been somewhat higher than consump­
tion for several months, and a small amount o f yarn has
been available to add to reserve stocks each month since
January. On June 30, 1939, reserve stocks totaled 33,300.000 pounds o f yarn, about a month’s supply, but by
the end o f the year the reserve of yarn had declined to
6.400.000 pounds, somewhat less than a week’s supply.
Production in January and each month thereafter exceeded
shipments, and manufacturers were able to build stocks
up to 13,200,000 pounds by June 30, 1940, about a twoweeks supply. Rayon Organon states that the rayon yarn
producing industry has been operating essentially at ca­
pacity based on the present deniers o f yarn being spun,
but that the industry has now entered the period when
vacations and machine repairs will reduce operating sched­
ules. It is expected that the sum of these reductions in
operations will be equivalent to approximately 10 days.
CO TTO N A C R E A G E INCREASES

Spot cotton prices on Southern markets were higher in
June than in May, but held only part o f the rise during
the first two weeks in July. The average price quoted
for middling grade 15/16-inch staple, which on May 17
was 9.58 cents, by June 14 had risen to 10.68 cents. From
that date, however, there was a small decline each week
to 10.42 cents on July 12. On July 14, 1939, the average
price was 9.41 cents.
COTTON CONSUMPTION AND
June
1940

ON HAND— BALES

June
1939
Fifth district states:
Cotton consumed ...................
271,127
274,367
Cotton growing states:
Cotton consumed ...................
480,069
489.135
Cotton on hand June 30 in
Consuming establishments .
903,100
825,949
Storage & compresses ......... . 9,511,625 11,910,928
United States:
Cotton consumed ...................
556,529
578,436
Cotton on hand June 30 in
Consuming establishments . . 1,160,025 1,020,609
Storage & compresses ........ . 9,572,142 11,948,792
Exports of cotton .......................
133,530
113,634
Spindles active ........................... . 21,942,748 21,771,310

Aug. 1 to June 30
This Year Last Year
3,432,886

3,044,208

6,099,797

5.367.737

7,147.724

6.337.073

6,054,961

3,220,3019

On July 8, the Department o f Agriculture reported the
1940 cotton acreage at 25,077,000 acres, 101.6 per cent
o f the area in cultivation on July 1 last year. In the

MONTHLY REVIEW

4

Fifth district, Virginia’s 31,000 acres this year is only 94
per cent o f last year’s acreage, hut North Carolina’ s
829,000 acres is 110 per cent and South Carolina’s 1,273,000 acres is 102 per cent of the 1939 acreage. N o official
data on the condition o f the crop will be available until
August, ibut unofficial reports show that the crop is dis­
tinctly backward and at the moment prospects are below
average for this season o f the year.

CROP FORECASTS

The following figures, issued by the Department o f
Agriculture, show forecasts of -production based on July
1 conditions, compared with yields in 1939 and in the
10-year period 1929-1938, and percentage changes in
acreage this year over or under 1939:
Wheat (Bushels)
% Change

Acreage

C IG A R E TTE PR O D U C TIO N SETS NEW RECO RD

All tobacco products except cigarettes manufactured in
the United States in June 1940 were in smaller amounts
than in either May this year or June last year, but cigar­
ette production set a new all-time record for a single
month. Bureau o f Internal Revenue figures show pro­
duction figures as fo llo w s:
June 1940
Smoking & chewing
tobacco, pounds
Cigarettes, number
Cigars, number ----Snuff, pounds ...........

...............

West Virginia .........
North Carolina
South Carolina

26,823,793
16,594,511,013
486,721,353
3,282,977

26,457,385
16,274,867,793
469,313,069
3,466,676

Maryland

...............

West Virginia .........
North Carolina
South Carolina

Maryland

DEPARTMENT STORE TRADE
Ratio June
collections
to accounts
outstanding
June 1

Net Sales
Stocks
Jan. 1 to date June 30, 1940
comp, with
comp, with
same period June
May
1940
last year
1939

N et!
June 1940
comp, with
June
1939
Richmond (3) .........
Baltimore (8) .........
Washington (6) . . .
Other Cities ( 1 4 ) ..
District (31) . . . .

+4.5
+ 1 0 .2
+ 5.2
+ 3.1
+6.6

+
+
+
+

Same stores by states,
with 25 stores added:
Virginia ((12) . . . .
West Virginia (10).
North Carolina (8).
South Carolina (11)

+3.5
+ 8.7
+ 5.1
+ 8.3

4.9
6.9
5.3
7.3

+ 6.0

32.1
32.2
28.5
28.9
30.1

8.2
8.5
9.0
5.6
8.3

..............

West Virginia
North Carolina . ..
South Carolina

5
0

+
—
—
+

17,374,000
34,425,000
13,122,000
48,820,000
25,940,000

1
2
1
1

18,216,000
36.530,000
13,994,000
48,087,000
25,433,000

15,923,000
32,255,000
12,448,000
42,517,000
22,306,000

2

1,128,000
1,600,000
1,460,000
5,692,000
11,515,000

1,344,000
2,197,000
2,086,000
4,228,000
8,910,000

+ 6.0

+ 1.8

+ 1-7

518,000
983,000
718,000
991,000
541,000

464,000
923,000
644,000
696,000
362,000

+ 0.5
2.1

+

2,375,000
6,786,000
3,040,000
8,200,000
3,108,000

3,098,000
11,507,000
2,925,000
7,976,000
2,424,000

Virginia .................
West Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina . . .

RETAIL FURNITURE SALES
% Change in Sales, June and 6 Months in 1940

Compared with
June 1939

Compared with
6 Months 1939

+ 6
+ 6
+ 6

+ 7
+ 6
+ 13

+ 20

+ 12

W HOLESALE TRADE, 211 FIRMS

LINES
Auto supplies (8) ...........
Shoes (5) ..........................
Drugs (10) .......................
Dry goods (8) .................
Electrical goods (16) . .
Groceries (58) .................
Hardware (18) ...............
Industrial supplies (11) Plumbing & heating (5)
Paper & products (10'). .
Tobacco & products (8).
Miscellaneous (54) ........
District Average (211)

+ 6
— 14
4- 4
— 9
+ 4
4- 3
+ 3
+ 24
+ 11
+ 9
+ 6
+ 4

+ 4

+ 0
-3 6
— 8
— 20
— 7
- 4
_ £
+ 8
+ 10
— 11
+ 0
— 9
— 7

+
+
+

1
7
5

1,440,000
4,128,000
8,624,000
6,834,000

1,090,000
4,156,000
8,163,000
5,220,000

29,796,000
143,847,000
2,736,000
811,675,000
133,200,000

26,096,000
97,395,000
3,262,000
496,101,000
81,068,000

591,000
1,178,000
820,000
1,035,000
518,000

Ratio June
Stocks
collections
June 30, 1940
to accounts
compared with
outstanding
June 30 May 31
June 1
1940
1939

6
5

+ 10
+ 1
+ 7
+ 24
+ 11
+11
+ 11
+ 14

—
+
+
—
+
+
4—

+ ii
+ 5

+ io
+ 7

87
45
74
60
64
82

— 6

65

+ 1

63

+

5

+ 9

2
7

1

6
3
3
l
0

+

4
0
0
- 1
0

2,834,000
9,438,000
3,200,000
8,829,000
3,192,000

+ 11
— 3
- 5
- 1

1,350,000
3,720,000
7,592,000
5,940,000

Tobacco (Pounds)

+ 1
+ 7

+ 4
+ 6

Net Sales
June 1940
compared with
May
June
1940
1939

2
3

Sweet Potatoes (Bushels)
Maryland
...........
Virginia .................
North Carolina . ,.
South Carolina . . .

+ 17
11
+

+ 10
+8

cities:
stores ...........
stores ...........
7 stores -----

Maryland
Virginia .................
West Virginia . . . .
North Carolina . =.
South Carolina , ..

+ 20

+ 12

Maryland, 9 stores ...........
Dist. of Col., 7 stores . . .
Virginia, 9 stores .............
North Carolina, 4 stores
South Carolina, 7 stores .
District, 36 stores .........

+
+

Irish Potatoes (Bushels)

+ 8.1
+ 11.1

STATES

1,015,000
1,806,000
1,388,000
5,250,000
10,670,000

+ 15
+ 5
— 10
- 1
- 1

Hay' (Tons)

+ 4.4
+ 12.3




8,518,000
8,735,000
2,080,000
4,661,000
1,175,000

Oats (Bushels)

R E T A IL A N D W H O LESALE TR A D E

Individual
Baltimore, 9
Richmond, 4
Washington,

+

7,352,000
7,511,000
2,102,000
5,100,000
2,415,000

7,448,000
8,354,000
1,986,000
5,798,000
2,625,000

+ 4
+ 4
— 6

Corn (Bushels)

June 1939

May 1940

24,763,334
17,565,041,013
435,029,473
2,896,537

Maryland

Yield
1929-1938

Yield
1939

Yield
1940

52
88

Maryland
............
Virginia .................
West Virginia
North Carolina . .
South Carolina . ..

— 1
-3 3
- 6
— 41
-4 0

24,192,000
90,684,000
2,635,000
465,650,000
77,400,000

Peanut Condition, July 1
Virginia .................
North Carolina . .
South Carolina . .

+

5

+ 5
+ 15

86
81
80

79
79
78

80
75
67

77
72
76
79
68

76
78
74
75
67

41
66

Pasture Condition, July 1
Maryland
.........
Virginia ...............
West Virginia . ..
North Carolina .
South Carolina . .

(Compiled July 20, 1940)

80
90
89
82
75

MONTHLY REVIEW, July 31, 1940

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

SUMMARY OF NATIONAL BUSINESS CONDITIONS
(Compiled by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Volum e o f industrial production increased rapid ly during June and rose
som ewhat fu rth er in the first h a lf o f July. D istribution o f commodities through
retail and wholesale m arkets and by rail continued active.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Index of physical volume of production, ad­
justed for seasonal variation, 1923-1925 a ve rage=
1(H). By months, January 1934 to June 1940.

DEPARTMENT STORE SALES AND STOCKS

Indexes of value of sales and stocks, adjusted for
seasonal variation, 1923-1925 average=100.
By
months, January 1934 to June 1940.

WHOLESALE PRICES OF BASIC COMMODITIES
R CEN
T

per cent

A/v.

A

r

N/'—
'

!

j-J

- vN

1
FOODSTUFFS

,--v .

r '
INDUSTRIAL
MATERIALS
1
1

r-J

1936

^

1937

n
'W w - • ' V

1939

1940

Federal Reserve groupings of Bureau o f Labor
Statistics’ data. Thursday figures, January 4, 1934
to July 11, 1940.

MONEY

RATES IN NEW YORK CITY

PR O D U C TIO N
The B oa rd’s seasonally adjusted index o f industrial production advanced
from 106 in M ay to 114 in June. In that month, as in M ay, increases in ac­
tivity w ere m ost marked in the iron and steel and textile industries w here
declines earlier in the year had been greatest.
Steel in got production rose from 60 per cent o f capacity at the beginning
o f M ay to 87 per cent in the latter pa rt o f June and w as m aintained at about
that level in the first three weeks o f July. Production o f coke and p ig iron
showed sim ilar sharp increases and iron ore shipments down the Lakes w ere at
near-capacity levels. Demand fo r steel w as general as most dom estic steel­
consum ing industries w ere operating at h igh rates.
E xports o f steel, which
had declined in A pril, rose to earlier high levels in M ay and June, am ounting
to about 10 percent o f steel-producing capacity.
A utom obile production, which had begun to decline in M ay, continued to
decrease in June and the first h a lf o f ju ly reflecting in large pa rt seasonal in ­
fluences. Retail sales o f automobiles w ere in large volum e and dealers’ stocks
o f new and used cars declined from the high levels prevailin g earlier.
In the textile industry there w as a fu rth er sharp advance in activity at
woolen mills, and at cotton mills output w as reduced less than seasonally. R ayon
production was maintained at earlier high levels w hile at silk mills activity
ream ined near the unusually low rate reached in M ay.
Coal production continued in large volum e during June, but output o f crude
petroleum declined in the latter pa rt o f the month, ow ing to reduced production
in Texas fields.
Value o f construction contract aw ards showed little change from M ay to
June, according to F. W . D odge C orporation figures fo r 37 eastern States.
A w ards fo r private residential building decreased more than seasonally, fo llo w ­
ing a sharp rise in M ay, and contracts fo r private non-residential building also
declined. Contracts fo r public construction increased fu rth er in June, ow ing in
pa rt to expansion in the construction o f A rm y and N avy air bases.
D IS T R IB U T IO N
D epartm ent store sales in June w ere m aintained at the M ay level, although
usually there is a considerable decline, and the B oard’s seasonally adjusted
index advanced to 93 as com pared w ith 87 in M ay and a level o f about 89 earlier
in the year. Sales at variety stores showed little change from M ay to June,
continuing at the advanced level that has prevailed since the beginning o f the
year. In the early part o f Ju ly departm ent store sales declined seasonally from
the June level.
F reigh t-car loadings increased fu rth er in June.
Shipments o f coal and
m iscellaneous m erchandise continued to expand and loadings o f coke, which
usually decline at this season, showed a substantial rise.
C O M M O D ITY PR IC E S
Prices o f a number o f industrial m aterials, p a rticu larly steel scrap, copper,
rubber, and silk, declined from the middle o f June to the middle o f July. W heat
prices also showed decreases in this period, w hile prices o f livestock and products
advanced ow ing partly to seasonal influences.
A G R IC U L T U R E
P roduction o f m a jor crops this season, according to the July 1 report o f the
D epartm ent o f A griculture, m ay be sligh tly low er than last season. Tobacco
production w ill be sharply reduced from last year, when the crop w as unusually
large. Dom estic supplies o f wheat and other field crops as w ell as o f vegetables
and fr u it are expected to show little change from last season. Indicated hog
production this year w ill be about 10 percent sm aller than last year.
B A N K C R E D IT
T otal loans and investm ents at reportin g m em ber banks in 101 leading cities
increased during the five weeks ending July 10, chiefly as a result o f increases
in holdings o f short-term United States Governm ent obligations and in com m er­
cial loans. Holdings o f United States G overnm ent bonds and loans to security
brokers and dealers declined.
The m onetary gold stock increased by $885,000,000 in this five week period,
the largest gold acquisition fo r any corresponding period on record. This inflow
o f gold w as reflected in a grow th o f $310,000,000 in foreign bank balances w ith
the Federal Reserve Banks and in increased deposits and reserves o f mem ber
banks. On July 10, excess reserves o f mem ber banks amounted to $6,833,000,000.
G O V E R N M E N T S E C U R IT Y M A R K E T

For weeks ending January 6, 1934, to July 13,
1940.




Prices o f Governm ent securities, which had advanced sharply in June, showed
fu rth er increases a fter Ju ly 8 when the Treasu ry announced a new bond issue
fo r cash subscription. Between June 10 and Ju ly 15 the price o f the 1960-65
bonds rose about ,3 points, and the yield on this issue declined from 2.52 per
cent to 2.34 per cent as com pared with 2.26 per cent at the y ea r’s peak in
prices on A p ril 2.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102